Two brothers from Hyderabad along with their three associates were arrested for poaching a black-naped hare in Telangana’s Nizamabad district.
The accused, Luqman Affendi (47), and his brother Imran Affendi (50), according to forest department officials, had gone to the forests to hunt blackbucks, but could not find anything other than a black-naped hare.
Upon receipt of credible information on poaching, the officials of the Vigilance wing conducted a raid on Affendi’s rice mill at Jakora in Varni forest range of the Nizamabad division. They found the fresh carcass of the hare along with two rifles with telescopes and silencers, night vision binoculars, searchlights, and knives, etc.
Simultaneous raids were also conducted on two other residences of Affendi in Hyderabad and officials found meat in deep freeze packs. The meat samples are being sent to the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology(CCMB) for identification of the animal. A protected species under Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act, hunting the Indian Hare is punishable with imprisonment up to 3 years or a fine up to Rs 25,000, or both.
In a press release, the officials said that Luqman Affendi is a habitual offender and regularly invited his friends from Hyderabad on the pretext of wildlife meat. Luqman, Imran, and others went hunting on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning but could not find any wild animals for hunting.
The three others arrested are Shaik Raaz Ahmed(43) who manages Luqman Affendi’s mill, Mohammed Jameeluddin(61), and Mohammed Shahrukh Khan(23), who works for Affendi. The investigation is in progress to find out their involvement in hunting and poaching in the past if any. A Tata Safari vehicle used in hunting was seized by the Forest officials along with the rifles and other equipment used in hunting from the accused.
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